PIPL Indexes The Web To Help Companies Stop Fraud

The Google of your identity search has arrived and they go by the name of PIPL.  They have some information on just about every adult with an internet connection on the planet.

You have probably never heard of them.

But they likely know you.  They crawl thousands of websites across the internet and locate lots of little pieces of information about you.   As they crawl the web, they leverage proprietary matching logic to piece together your internet based identity.  Like a puzzle with a million pieces, they can put your identity together from all those different websites you subscribe to or visit.

Boy, do they do it very well.    They have collected information on over 3 billion individual identities worldwide.  And it’s not just one piece of information.  They often link an individuals identity to their employment, their history of email addresses, their phone numbers, their relatives, their family members, and prior addresses that they have lived at.

It’s a powerful indexing algorithm and a powerful matching algorithm together in one place.

A Disrupter In The Very Competitive Data  Industry

Lets face it, there are lots of companies that want to sell you data.  But, every few years a new company emerges that disrupts the industry.

Keep this company on your radar because that is exactly what they are poised to do.  They are breaking new ground that is going to enhance the way companies verify identity by leveraging internet-based information in a cost effective way.

It’s Surprisingly Accurate

I decided to test PIPL. The company let me demo their PIPL Pro Tool that they offer to fraud investigators.   It offers unlimited access for a single fraud investigator to search for any identity in the world.

I must admit I was skeptical at first.  I mean isn’t google the best search engine on the internet?

They are, of course. But when I google my name I get pages of links of my photography, my blog post, and of course tons of information about other Frank McKenna’s, like this guy – the former Prime Minister of Canada.

I went to PIPL and typed in my phone number.

I Received Back a Shocking Amount of Information About Me

Within 3 seconds the system responded with a long page of information that it had received from sources all over the internet.  I was looking at my identity profile in a way that Google had never shown me before.

This is the first part of the page that returned after I typed my phone number in.

From a single search of my phone number, PIPL accurately returned

  • My age
  • My date of birth
  • My last 7 addresses
  • My current employment and last two jobs
  • Where I went to get my masters
  • Where I went to get my BA
  • Usernames from most of my social media accounts
  • 5 phone numbers that are associated with me
  • 5 email addresses associated with me
  • Names of many people in my family

What is amazing is not only that PIPL was able to find this information, but that they were able to join together that disparate information into a single and accurate profile of me.

PIPL is an excellent source for Fraud Detection

Having a source of information that can be used to validate identity from the internet is a big win for banks in the fight against fraudsters.

The site is being used today by major retailers to verify that the person that is ordering the goods is a real person.  Other banks are considering using it to validate the identity information being provided actually returns to a real person and is not a “synthetic id”

PIPL Pro For Data Scientist

I have been working in fraud management for a long time and I know good data sets for modeling when I see them.

This is a great source of data for fraud data scientists.  The information can be used for lending fraud models, to prevent new account origination fraud and to identify fraud with online transactions.

The best thing is that PIPL has a developer portal so you can ping for the data that you want to retrieve from their databases.

PIPL Pro For Fraud Investigators

If you aren’t a data scientist but a fraud investigator and you just want to do manual searches on PIPL, you can.  PIPL created a fraud investigator tool that lets analyst and investigators search by any number of elements.

You can do a simple search by name and phone number, or you can drill really far into the data.

Check out all the fields you can search against.

A Great Complimentary Tool to Lexis Nexis

For banks, lenders, finance companies and service providers, the PIPL tool is a great alternative to, or augment for, Lexis Nexis. Lexis data is pretty incredible but can be cost prohibitive for some organizations.    Additionally, PIPL data offers identity validation from a completely different prism and may more completely identify emerging borrowers that have little footprint in banking and credit.

PIPL data is a powerful new source of data that is only getting richer over time as people push more of their data online.  I expect you will hear a lot about this company in the coming years.

Thanks for reading!

Frank McKenna is the Chief Fraud Strategist for PointPredictive and a Fraud Consultant based in San Diego California